International Relations Courses

Please find below a list of graduate courses in International Relations offered by the department since the Autumn 2000 quarter.

32400. World Politics in the Nineteenth Century: A History. The course provides an overview of major developments in 19th century history: wars, revolutions, diplomacy, economic development, imperial expansion, and international trade and investment. The course covers key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory. Besides diplomatic relations among the Great Powers, the course examines long-term trends in economic development and military force. Specific topics include the settlement after the Napoleonic Wars, the failed revolutions of 1848-49, European imperialism, the industrial revolution, and the origins of World War I. C. Lipson. Autumn 2002. Autumn 2004.

32500. World Politics in the 20th Century, 1914-1945: A History. This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, the maintenance of European empires, diplomatic alignments and alliances, arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. It surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the first half of the 20th century (the period from the outset of World War I to the end of World War II). It deals with key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory, including long-term trends in diplomacy, economic development, and military force. C. Lipson. Autumn 2001. Autumn 2003.

32600. World Politics in the 20th Century, 1945-1991: A History. This course provides a survey of major wars, the development of states' military and financial capacity, imperial retreat, diplomatic alignments and alliances, arrangements for international trade and investment, as well as efforts to create international institutions. It surveys the history of modern inter-state relations in the latter half of the 20th century. It focuses on the Cold War and the development of an integrated world economy under U.S. leadership. It deals with key elements of international history needed for further study of international politics and IR theory, including long-term trends in diplomacy, economic development, and military force. C. Lipson. Winter 2002. Autumn 2005.

34800. Ethics in International Affairs and Development (=HMRT 248/348). This course examines issues of normative judgment in the context of international affairs and economic and social development. It introduces several basic conceptual frameworks for such normative analysis: utilitarianism, rights theories, capabilities approach and others. It compares and applies these frameworks to specific issues such as war and peace, intervention, international distributive justice, debt and development immigration and refugees, environment and development. Among authors we are likely to read are Robert Goodin, Joseph Carens, Simon Caney, James Woodward, Onora O'Neill, Amartya Sen, and Martha Nussbaum. I Young. Winter 2002.

37600. War and the Nation-state (=PolSci 376). The aim of this course is to examine the phenomenon of war in its broader socio-economic context during the years between the emergence of the modern nation-state and the end of World War II. J. Mearsheimer. Winter 2001. Winter 2003. Winter 2005.

37700. Global Political Economy. This course introduces graduate students to the concepts, theories, practices, and data used to study the global economy. How much do political factors explain variations in economic outcomes? Does the global political economy affect domestic political structures? Various theoretical approaches are used to analyze separate dimensions of the global economic system: trade, finance, investment, the environment, technology transfer, etc. D. Drezner. Autumn 2001. Winter 2004.

38310. Global Governance. International relations theorists assume a world of anarchy, but there is an ever-thickening layer of international institutions that take on governance functions in world politics. Are these governance structures routinizing international politics? What factors determine the effectiveness and outcome of global governance? The course will also examine the extent to which non-state actors contribute to the phenomenon, the role of international law in buttressing such structures, and whether global governance is compatible with U.S. hegemony. D. Drezner. Autumn 2003.

39800. Introduction to International Relations. This course introduces the main themes in international relations, including the problems of war and peace, conflict and cooperation. The course begins by considering some basic theoretical tools used to study international politics. It then focuses on several prominent security issues in modern international relations, such as the Cold War and post-Cold War world, nuclear weapons, arms control, and nationalism. The last part of the course deals with economic aspects of international relations. It concentrates on issues where politics and economics are closely intertwined: world trade, foreign investment, environmental pollution, and European unification. C. Lipson. Autumn 2001. Autumn 2002. Autumn 2003. Autumn 2004. Autumn 2005.

39900. Strategy. This course is about American national security policy in the post-Cold War world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. The course is structured in five parts around the question of how American nuclear and conventional strategy should adapt to an increasingly multipolar world. The first component examines the key changes in strategic environment since 1990. The second looks at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals, such as off-shore balancing, spreading democracy, and isolationism. The third block focuses on nuclear strategy, using debates on nuclear strategy and the utility of nuclear threats as tools to examine the problems of deterring major and minor nuclear powers. The fourth section is about conventional strategy, covering conventional deterrence and coercion theory, the use of coercive air power in Vietnam and Iraq, and the problems of intervention in ethnic conflict. The last block discusses the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim. R. Pape. Spring 2001. Spring 2003. Spring 2005. Spring 2006.

39900. Strategy. This course is about American national security policy in the post-Cold War world, especially the principal issues of military strategy that are likely to face the United States in the next decade. The course is structured in five parts. The first component examines the key changes in strategic environment since 1990. The second looks at the effects of multipolarity on American grand strategy and basic national goals. The third block focuses on nuclear strategy. The fourth section is about conventional strategy. The last block discusses the future of war and peace in the Pacific Rim. J. Mearsheimer. Winter 2002.

40600. Seminar on International Relations Theory. The end of the Cold War ushered in a new set of debates about how to study international politics. This course is an introduction to some of those important theoretical approaches and is organized around debate among realism, liberalism, and constructivism and their variants. Seminar discussion will identify and criticize the central arguments advanced by different scholars in order to assess the relative merits of different theoretical perspectives. R. Pape. Winter 2001. Winter 2004. Winter 2006.

41200. Terrorism. This course examines the causes, conduct, and consequences of terrorism, with special emphasis on suicide terrorism. The course takes a building-block approach. It begins with competing theories about the causes of terrorism, then examines prominent cases, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda, and ends with a series of student research days focusing on important topics, such as those covered in the course as well as on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the IRA, the Assassins, and other cases. R. Pape. Spring 2003. Spring 2004. Spring 2006.

41500. Nationalism in the Age of Globalization. Nationalism has been the most powerful political ideology in the world for the past two centuries. This course examines its future in the age of globalization, focusing in particular on the widespread belief that it is a outmoded ideology. Specific topics covered in the course include: the causes of nationalism, its effects on international stability, nationalism and empires, globalization and the future of the state, globalization and national identities, the clash of civilizations, American nationalism, and the clash between Zionism and Palestinian nationalism. J. Mearsheimer. Spring 2005. Spring 2006.

42700. Politics of Unipolarity. R. Pape. Spring 2005.

43800. Rational International Politics. This course is about rational choice explanations of international cooperation and international institutions. It has combines a substantive agenda of examining how we understand problems of cooperation with a methodological agenda of examining the use of rational choice and formal models in investigating these questions. Some prior knowledge of game theoretic approaches is useful but not necessary preparation for the course. A willingness to work through formal arguments is essential. The first part of the course will cover the basic logic of the rational approach while the second part of the course will look at applications with an emphasis on working through recent articles. Coursework will include weekly comments on the readings and a short course paper. D. Snidal. Spring 2005.

44100. Social Theory of International Relations. Limit to 20 students. Introduction to philosophical aspects of international relations. Examination of debates in contemporary IR theory in light of recent work in social theory and philosophy on ontology, epistemology, and method, and especially on the relationship of material forces to ideas, agency to structure, and the nature and purpose of social scientific inquiry. IR scholarship addressed includes neorealist, neoliberal, constructivist, post-modern, critical, transnational, feminist, global governance, and normative approaches. Some prior familiarity with this scholarship is desirable, but since the issues are endemic to the social sciences and a third of the reading will be from social theory, the course may also be viewed as an introduction to the philosophy of social science, using IR as an extended case study. A. Wendt. Spring 2001. Winter 2002. Winter 2004.

46000. Sources of International Relations. This course in international relations theory builds on students' prior graduate training to explore four distinct but overlapping sources of international order: coercion, norms, institutions, and contractual bargains. Students will discuss and critique existing literature in all four areas and write a major paper. The course presumes students have had some prior coursework at the graduate level in international relations theory, security studies, or international political economy. C. Lipson. Autumn 2003. Winter 2005.

47600. Classics of International Relations. Most courses in international relations focus on the current literature at the expense of the great works in the field. Without a working knowledge of Thucydides, Kant, or Schelling, graduate students are unable to place theoretical propositions into a historical context. This course surveys the history of international relations theory through a close reading of ten classic works in the field. Among the questions that will be addressed: how far has IR theory developed since Thucydides? How closely do theories of international relations mirror the era in which they were written? In what ways are these widely cited works simplified or misstated in the current literature? D. Drezner. Winter 2002. Autumn 2004.

49500. American Grand Strategy. This course examines the evolution of American grand strategy since 1900, when the United States first emerged on the world stage as a great power. The focus is on assessing how its leaders have thought over time about which areas of the world are worth fighting and dying for, when it is necessary to fight in those strategically important areas, and what kinds of military forces are needed for deterrence and war-fighting in those regions. J. Mearsheimer. Winter 2004.

50100. Advanced Topics in International Cooperation. This is a research course on international cooperation, international organization, international law and surrounding topics. Students should already have passed the M.A. stage, have a (dissertation) research project in mind, and preferably have started writing. Classes will be conducted as true seminars where participants discuss and constructively critique each other's work. The course will meet irregularly throughout the calendar year according to the schedule and pace of participants' writing. Permission of instructor required. D. Snidal. Autumn, Winter, Spring 2004.

51100. Critical International Relations Theory. This seminar will provide an overview of several themes, or 'problematics', that distinguish critical scholarship on international relations. Each of those themes will be explicitly connected to one of the major theorists whose works shape the field of critical inquiry in the social sciences generally (e.g., Marx, Gramsci, Habermas, Foucault, Butler, Fanon, Levinas). We will not read many works of the theorists themselves in depth; instead, we will simply draw on their work to situate and ground the critical IR scholarship on the respective 'problematic' theoretically. After a brief introductory unit addressed to the question, what distinguishes critical international relations-that is, what makes scholarship critical-we will approach the set of themes of critical IR in two units: Power and domination; and, Difference and disputations of the putatively universal. For the introductory unit, we will reflect on the recent proliferation of scholarship in IR that claims to draw on Habermas, and ask how, if at all, that work retains his critical commitments. For the first of the thematic units-Power and domination-we will look at three themes: Marx and the problematic of capitalist imperialism; Gramsci and the problematic of hegemonic empire; and, Foucault and the problematic of global governance, law, and governmentality. The second major unit-Difference and disputations of the putatively universal-will also consist of three themes: Foucault, Butler and the problematic of the body and subjectivity; Fanon and the problematic of post-colonial subjectivities; and Levinas and the problematic of an ethics of difference. B. DuVall. Spring 2003.

53000. Seminar on Great Power Politics. The specific aim of this course is to introduce students to some of the key policy issues involving the great powers that dominate the post-Cold War world. Three topics will receive special emphasis: European security, Asian security, and the role of the United States in the larger world after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is expected that all students in the class will be well-versed in international relations theory, and will bring their theoretical insights to bear on the relevant policy issues. The broad goal is to encourage students to appreciate that international relations theory and important policy issues are inextricably linked to each other. J. Mearsheimer. Winter 2001. Winter 2002. Winter 2003. Spring 2004. Winter 2005.